What is the Role of a Strategic Planning Consultant in an Organization?

Companies planning to hire strategic planning consultants need to understand how they can get the best value or ROI during the strategic planning process. Management always wants consultants that are thorough, candid and who will be able to carry out a critical evaluation of the position of the business and make recommendations for the organization. They will help in planning and implementing change. Even the most ardent conservative managers rarely want consultants who will simply be agreeable and rubber stamp the status quo. They want to be told the truth on the position of the organization and where the organization needs to go.

Strategic Planning Process

During the strategic planning process, the consultants will work with the management in obtaining and also analyzing information in order to make smart business decisions that will give the organization a competitive edge. To do that requires developing a very deep understanding of the business including its processes, organizational culture, leadership, strengths and weaknesses, the market position of the organization and opportunities that could be exploited in order to drive its vision forward. There are plenty of things that you could expect from a strategic planning consultant. These include the following:

Providing a Process

The strategic planning consultant should provide the organization with proven and effective processes for analyzing and understanding the organization and its competitive position. They must also provide a method for developing solutions for the organization.

They Should Ask Challenging Questions

One of the reasons why organizations hire strategic consultants is that they want a rational and objective look at the systems, processes and market position. Strategic planning should never be a token process. It should be a process with a lot of integrity weaved into it.  A good consultant will ask the management some of the tough and probing questions about the organization. It is these questions which will shed light on the organization’s current performance and help in formulating a strategic plan. The key issues for the organization should be exposed during the strategic planning process.

They Must Challenge the Status Quo of the Organization

If the status quo of the organization is not challenged, the company will not be able to confront some of the key issues hindering its growth and performance. Management will only be willing to implement change if they are willing to discuss it.

Honest and Objective Assessments

Consultants should be very honest and call things as they see them. They need to openly discuss the weaknesses of the organization or the executive team. Performing candid assessments and reporting results is what consultants do. It is their professional obligation. They have to discuss these difficult issues and explain the need for real change for the organization for strategic planning to have any impact for the future organization. One of the main issues that will weaken any organization is leaving some of the critical issues unaddressed.

Keeping What Works

Organizations have their strengths and weaknesses. A good consultant like Bryan Whitefield will recognize both and keep the good things about the organization intact.

Identifying and Addressing What Doesn’t Work

This is one of the main reasons why many prefer to hire business consultants. The business consultant must deliver very objective information on the weaknesses of the company. They should tell the management what about the business is not working and recommend options for improvement for the organization. Consultants generally provide hands-on additional manpower for the organization’s strategic planning team.  They will work side-by-side with management in carrying out various functions for the organization including market research, the creation of financial projections and the formulation and evaluation of the organization’s strategic plans.

They Link Strategy with Execution

The purpose of strategic business planning in any organization is to translate it into a detailed action plan. This is the only way the investments in strategy are going to deliver results. Consultants generally roll out the strategy execution and play a supervisory role during the execution phase of the strategic plan for the organization. For more details, visit http://www.bryanwhitefield.com.au/strategic-planning-consultants-system-process/.